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Great Naval Battles of the Pacific War (Hardback)

The Official Admiralty Accounts: Midway, Coral Sea, Java Sea, Guadalcanal and Leyte Gulf

WWII Frontline Books Naval Japan & the Pacific Front Frontline: Naval Naval Warfare WWII Battle of Midway

By John Grehan
Frontline Books
Pages: 296
Illustrations: 32 images in a central plate section
ISBN: 9781399011686
Published: 17th May 2022


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The key naval battles against Imperial Japan in the Pacific during the Second World War have been described many times by numerous diligent and skilful historians. Such histories are, of course, the products of many years, even decades, of accumulated knowledge, but also of a received consensus of how the war played out to its, seemingly, inevitable conclusion. That of course is not how it was perceived at the time. Hindsight, as we know, gives us 20/20 vision. The accounts here, compiled for and on behalf of the Admiralty, were written either during or immediately after the end of the war before historians had begun to give their assessments of these momentous events.

These accounts were written for internal consumption, to guide and instruct naval officers. It was never intended that they would be released to the general public. As such, there was no jingoistic drum beating, no axes to grind, no new angles to try and find. The authors of these accounts relate each battle, move by move, as they unfolded, accurately and dispassionately.

This makes these accounts so invaluable. They read almost like a running commentary, as action follows action, minute follows minute. This sensation is magnified by the absolute impartiality of the authors, their sole attempt being to provide a thorough but very clear and comprehensible record so that others in the future could understand precisely how each battle was fought.

These accounts can never be superseded and never replaced. Written by naval officers of the time for naval officers of the future, they are the permanent record of the great victories, and the sobering defeat in the Java Sea, during the struggle for control of the Pacific which, for many months, hung precariously in the balance.

The big positive of this book is the quantity and quality of the information about the five major actions of the naval war in the Pacific.

Full review available at: https://www.clash-of-steel.co.uk/reviews/view/323

Clash of Steel

About John Grehan

JOHN GREHAN has written or edited more than 300 books and magazine articles covering a wide span of military history from the Iron Age to the present war in Afghanistan. His previous publications include The Lines of Torres Vedras: The Cornerstone of Wellington's Strategy in the Peninsular War 1809-12, The Battle of Barossa, and Britains German Allies of the Napoleonic Wars. John has also appeared on local and national radio and television to advise on military history topics. He was the Assistant Editor of Britain at War Magazine from its inception until 2014. John now devotes his time to writing and editing books.

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